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HomeNewsGlobal NewsITU’s AI for Good Global Summit hosts talks on AI governance

ITU’s AI for Good Global Summit hosts talks on AI governance

  • UN meeting focuses on moving from principles of artificial intelligence guidelines to implementation for safe, sustainable use

GENEVA, Switzerland – ​​​The AI for Good Global Summit 2024 will open in Geneva, Switzerland on 29 May with the UN’s first AI Governance Day to discuss how best to implement principled AI frameworks while ensuring that no country is left behind.

AI Governance Day will welcome ministers and regulatory authorities from over 70 governments nearly half representing developing countries as well as representatives of industry, academia, civil society and United Nations agencies.

The day is organized and hosted by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the UN Agency for Digital Technologies, ahead of two days dedicated to exploring how new technology can support sustainable development.

“The world needs AI technologies that are safe, secure and that go beyond bias to benefit everybody,” said ITU secretary-general Doreen Bogdan-Martin. “AI Governance Day will reinforce important international principles as AI advances, while also ensuring that all countries are represented so that we can move forward together.”

​Moving from process to progress

National and regional initiatives on AI regulatory frameworks have clarified essential principles of equitability, inclusivity, safety and security to ensure that the rapidly evolving technologies benefit all of humanity.

AI Governance Day will focus on globally inclusive implementation of frameworks based on these principles.

The discussions will also explore the role of international technical standards and capacity development to provide effective, consistent AI governance worldwide within an environment of inclusion and trust.

“The objectives of AI Governance Day align with those of the recent resolution on AI adopted by the UN General Assembly,” said Bogdan-Martin. “The historic General Assembly resolution gives greater strength and impetus to the AI for Good initiative by promoting responsible AI that leads to a better life for all, the very essence of ITU’s work on artificial intelligence.”

What’s on the agenda

The first half of AI Governance Day​​ will feature high-level discussions on implementing AI regulatory frameworks, with participants sharing case studies and best practices from around the world. This will be followed by an afternoon open session.​

An important principle of the ITU-hosted talks is the active participation of representatives of developing countries to ensure the widest level of representation about technologies that have global implications.

The public afternoon sessions will feature presentations by representatives of government, industry, standards bodies and UN agencies on key tenets of AI governance and the progress of initiatives underway around the world.

Discussions will then address topics such as:

  • Governments’ AI dilemma: How to maximize rewards while minimizing risks?
  • Leveraging the UN system to advance global AI governance efforts.
  • The critical conversation on AI safety and risk.
  • To share or not to share? Open-source versus proprietary large language models.
  • Harmonizing high tech: The role of AI standards as an implementation tool.

Tackling risks and challenges

Following AI Governance Day will be ITU‘s annual AI for Good Global Summit 2024, taking place 30-31 May, co-convened by the Government of Switzerland and organized with 40 partner UN agencies.

AI for Good identifies practical applications of AI to accelerate progress toward the UN Sustainable Development Goals and connects AI innovators with public and private-sector decision-makers to help scale up AI solutions globally.

With the rise of generative AI models prompting fears about the downsides of AI as well as excitement about the benefits of the technologies, the summit will host expert-oriented machine learning workshops and demos of cutting-edge AI solutions.

“Common to all AI governance initiatives is the urgent need to address misinformation and deception techniques such as deepfakes,” said Seizo Onoe, director of the ITU Telecommunication Standardization Bureau. “The AI for Good Global Summit will bring together the world’s leading experts on verifying multimedia authenticity and provenance to advance technical standards for a robust international response to this growing threat to information integrity and public discourse.”

The UN platform for AI solutions

The AI for Good Global Summit will showcase innovations in generative AI, robotics, and brain-machine interfaces that can accelerate progress in areas such as climate action, accessibility, health, and disaster response.

Summit speakers, including some of the world’s most recognized voices on AI, will explore the latest breakthroughs in AI and examine actions to ensure that AI works to humanity’s benefit.

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